Summer Days – Charcoal, New Techniques

Each new season breathes new life into old.  The new smells, sounds, sights, and events are rejuvenating and inspiring.  To grow as an artist I find it important to learn through observation, experimentation, and to continue adding new techniques to old. Adding new elements keeps art exciting and pushes me forward to look for ways to create yet another effect. I am very happy with the result of the new procedures used in Summer Days.


Summer Days

Thanks again to the adorable Little B for being such a great little model and inspiration for this piece.  Hope you enjoy.


Violin Virtuoso – David Garrett

Classically trained violinist, David Garrett, has an amazing way of joining classical and rock music.  I would have to say, he is one of my favorite contemporary musicians.  violin

15 x 17 Charcoal on Printmaking Paper

This  composition was drawn using charcoal on tinted printmaking paper.  I  enjoyed working with the soft tooth of this paper.  The challenge was to keep the touch light enough to maintain the integrity of the paper.  Hope you enjoy.


The Challenge


The Challenge

 12×19 Charcoal

Life’s challenges assist individuals to push past archaic ideas and narrow skills into a realm of discovery.  Some challenges may feel like battles, but emerging victorious at the end of the battle allows individuals to discover the strengths deep inside.





Charcoal, Uncategorized

Pike Place, Seattle, Washington – Charcoal

Summer Vacations and Art

Pike Place

12 x 9 Charcoal with Watercolor.

It is never too soon to start thinking about summer vacations, whether they are from the past or still to come. This drawing brings back great memories of a family vacation to Seattle, Washington in 2012.  The market place is alive with activity, energy, people, and culture. My family still talks about the throwing of the fish at the Pike Place Fish Market. Also found at Pike Place is the founding Starbucks which maintains its original appearance because it is located in a historical district. Markets, art, and coffee are warming thoughts of summer especially on a cold January day.


Karate – The Punch

Shotokan Karate – The Karate Punch


 Charcoal 21 x 14

This piece will be printed into cards.  If you are interested in more information and about karate cards email me at  Your feedback is always important to me, please feel free to email or comment below.


Matsuri – Japanese Festival

Character Study

Personally I am not a big fan of wrinkles, but when there are photographs or individuals with deep character lines they need to be captured in a drawing.  These lines have not developed overnight, instead they have deepened and formed through a life of experiences.  Just think of the numerous stories that might accompany the aged faces…


Matsuri  Japanese Festival – Nara, Japan

Quick Sketch in Charcoal

  Thank you to Florian Niessner for supplying the excellent photograph.

Japan is a bucket list destination for myself and one of my daughters.  Hopefully one day soon we will get to experience Japan’s beauty, culture, and festivals.

Charcoal, Uncategorized

Enchanted – North American Gray Wolf

The North American Gray Wolf


20 X 30 Charcoal On Sanded Canson Board


The North American Gray Wolf is a crucial member of our ecosystem. The positive ripple effects of their presence is incredible and often disregarded.  Have a look at the following video, I think you will agree.   How Wolves Change Rivers

The more I learn about wolves, the more fascinated I become with these beautiful and enchanting carnivores.  If observed in their habitat you would see that they are very social creatures.  They hunt only to survive and do not kill for sport.  The pack life, consisting of seven to eight wolves, works on a hierarchical system.  The mother and father being the alpha members of the pack and the leaders.  They work together much like a family would.

For more information on wolves have a look at Defenders of Wildlife.

For this art piece I wanted to explore working on a different surface.  Enchanted is done on Canson board with a finely sanded texture. There were a couple of benefits that I did enjoy when working with this product versus a toothed paper.   I found the integrity of the tooth or grit in this situation) was never compromised and I could build up many layers of charcoal.  Also the material was a little more forgiving when I needed to lift charcoal in areas.  These benefits add an element of freedom to play more with the charcoal.



White and Black –

Black Paper

Working on black paper is a great drawing exercise. Normally darker values are created by building layers of graphite or charcoal, with black paper however, the opposite is true.   It is a great way to look at objects.  Personally, I find it easier to  draw on black.  Squinting while looking at an object causes the lines to blur, and the light and dark values are easier to see. Ignoring the black values, I rough in the light areas. Sometimes I will make a quick sketch capturing shapes, and other times I just add the light areas.

Once I am happy with the light values, I add more detail.  Blending the white into the dark areas creates more and different values.   White on black looks great as a loose sketch also, it has a free-flowing feel.  Maybe one day I will give up my need for detail and leave the sketches relaxed.


12 X 17 on black paper

Thought this drawing would be a great addition to my new business card.

Business Card Really the Final

Front and Back of Business Card

Thank you to Erin for putting this together on illustrator!   Awesome work!


Limited Edition Print – Millarville Summer Farmers Market

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow…

Hard to believe my last summer market is tomorrow.  As promised here is a peek at the second limited edition print that I will be selling at the market.



19×24 Charcoal

This piece was so much fun to create.  I find working with charcoal very captivating.  I would love to explain the many facets of charcoal at the Millarville Farmers’ Market tomorrow.  See you there! 🙂

Tomorrow is also fair day at the market.  What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

This drawing is was created from a photograph provided by Don Kesler Nature Photography.


Utenbach Charcoal Horse

“I have learned that what I have not drawn I have not really seen, and that when I start drawing an ordinary thing, I realize how extraordinary it is, sheer miracle.”

-Fredrick Franck

There is such beauty in the things of this world, and when I take the time to slow down and really look at them I am amazed at the intricacies.  I think when I draw, I am actually making more mental connections to the things my brain sees.  Fun!

Utenbach Horse22×30 Charcoal Horse – Utenbach, Germany

There is something freeing about doing a larger scale drawing, especially with charcoal. For me it feels like all the senses are being awakened as life’s worries and tensions begin to melt away.

Recently I came across art paper rolls (over sized paper); I could go even bigger.  I wonder if my family would mind a wall taken over by paper and charcoal.  It could be custom wall paper. Hmm, who knows what the future holds?